Maitry Patel, Canadian Radiation Oncology PA on the Frontlines of COVID-19

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family, a strain never seen before late 2019. Due to its ability to transmit within communities (without any known exposure or personal travel history), it is a challenge to control this with immediate affect.

COVID-19 in Radiation Oncology

I work with oncology patients, who are one of the highest risk populations for contracting this (others being elderly, immunocompromised, etc.). Radiation oncology patients undergo daily treatment and if someone is suspected of having COVID-19, their treatment can be halted or delayed, affecting their cancer outcome.

Serving on the RMP Steering and Pandemic Planning Committee in conjunction with Cancer Care Ontario has given me an opportunity to bring a true multidisciplinary approach to this rapidly evolving situation. We are being vigilant with screening to keep PMH COVID-free.

Screening Cancer Patients for COVID-19

At door screening, we go through a list of symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, dyspnea) +/- travel history. If visitors are screen positive, they are not allowed to enter and must present to a COVID-assessment centre set up by Toronto public health. Screen-positive patients undergo secondary assessments, where nasopharyngeal swabs may be obtained to rule out. Our current policy is “COVID-positive till proven otherwise.”

As a PA, I am also involved in triaging of new incoming oncology referrals.

We classify patients in A, B, and C categories:

This allows us to safely care for oncology patients while deferring treatments that can wait without leading to tumor progression

About Maitry Patel, CCPA

Maitry is a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant working in Radiation Oncology. She is a McMaster PA graduate.

Learn about being a Radiation Oncology PA

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